Apple’s ‘private relay’ feature won’t be available in China

Apple doubled down on privacy yesterday by adding features to its apps and operating systems. One of those new features is called Private Relay, but it’s not going to be available in 10 countries where Apple devices are used and in some cases are extremely popular. One of those countries is China, which accounts for nearly 15 percent of the company’s revenue.
Private Relay is about as close as Apple can get to offering a VPN without officially offering one. It exists to ensure “all traffic leaving a user’s device is encrypted, so no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user’s network provider.” This is achieved by using two relays, the second of which isn’t controlled by Apple, and effectively removes IP addresses as a way of tracking users. Read more…More about Apple, Wwdc, Tech, and Cybersecurity

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Apple doubled down on privacy yesterday by adding features to its apps and operating systems. One of those new features is called Private Relay, but it’s not going to be available in 10 countries where Apple devices are used and in some cases are extremely popular. One of those countries is China, which accounts for nearly 15 percent of the company’s revenue.

Private Relay is about as close as Apple can get to offering a VPN without officially offering one. It exists to ensure “all traffic leaving a user’s device is encrypted, so no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user’s network provider.” This is achieved by using two relays, the second of which isn’t controlled by Apple, and effectively removes IP addresses as a way of tracking users.

As Reuters reports, not all governments are willing to accept a feature that hides the browsing habits of its population, so Private Relay will not be available everywhere. If you reside in Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, or the Philippines, Private Relay won’t work, and we have to assume it ceases to work if you are visiting any of these countries.

The least surprising country to see on that list is China, and Apple has explained “regulatory reasons” are why Private Relay won’t be offered to Chinese users. It’s a feature that simply isn’t compatible with the surveillance and censorship internet users in China are subject to.

This article originally published at PCMag
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